10/21/2016 - 9:32am

There are many monsters associated with Halloween. Besides Dracula and his kind, mummies are among the most fascinating of these. The mummies appearing in horror films and literature have many differences, but one thing remains constant: they are cursed to remain alive forever. They also have a doomed romantic attraction to at least one mortal woman and a burning hatred of all other mortals that has endured for centuries.

10/14/2016 - 12:38am
A History of Classic Monsters: Creature from the Black Lagoon

To date, humans have explored less than 5% of the world’s oceans. Whatever is lying in wait beneath the cavernous dark water is something yet to be discovered. Many scientists speculate that there are creatures such as the giant squid, which live in deep, seemingly endless trenches, hiding in the dark. Can there be other creatures as well—possibly from the Black Lagoon?

In 1941, producer William Alland was attending a dinner party for the classic Citizen Kane, when Mexican cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa told him about a myth that involved a half-fish, half-human creature on the Amazon River. Ten years later, Alland wrote a screenplay dubbed The Sea Monster, partially based on the French fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast. Following the success of the 3D House of Wax in 1953, Jack Arnold was hired to direct the rewrite of Sea Monster which was now Creature from the Black Lagoon.

09/30/2016 - 9:58am

Many people find one of the most enjoyable aspects of Halloween to be the myriad creatures associated with it. Legendary villains such as Dracula, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein, and zombies of all stripes emerge on or about October 31st in the forms of costumes, films, and books. America’s tendency to associate such creatures with Halloween is so embedded in our culture that we frequently forget that most of these creatures—or at least the versions of them we best remember—are relatively recent creations that are often less than two centuries old. This series explores the origins and evolution of Halloween’s and Hollywood's best-loved ghouls and beasts.

08/15/2016 - 2:11am
Cover to An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

The Scholars were once known for their prestigious universities and vast libraries—until the Martials conquered them five hundred years ago. The oppressed scholar people live in constant fear of starvation, raids, imprisonment, slavery and death, but that hasn’t stopped some from resisting and rising up.

09/12/2016 - 12:50pm

Did you know?

 — She's known as Jo to her friends. No one's called her Joanne since she was a child, and only then if she was being naughty.

 — Rowling is pronounced "rolling."

 — Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone was first published in England as Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

 — Hermoine IS based on a real person — J.K. Rowling!

 — The fantastic Ford Anglia featured in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is similar to one owned by Sean Harris, her best friend at Wyedean School.

11/30/2015 - 7:05pm

Born December 11, 1957, William (Bill) Joyce's dream is to be remembered for "a significant contribution to the cause of global silliness." (Publisher's Weekly)
His books, TV shows and movies, from George Shrinks to Robots to The Rise of the Guardians have amazed and amused audiences for over 20 years.

07/28/2016 - 11:40am
If you like The Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

This readalike is in response to a customer's book-match request. If you would like personalized reading recommendations, fill out the book-match form and a librarian will email suggested titles to you. Available for adults, teens, and kids.  You can browse the book matches here.

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
The Starks of Winterfell are a family as harsh and unyielding as the land they were born to. Sweeping from a land of brutal cold to a distant summertime kingdom of epicurean plenty, here is a tale of lords and ladies, soldiers and sorcerers, assassins and bastards, who come together in a time of grim omens. Here an enigmatic band of warriors bear swords of no human metal; a tribe of fierce wildlings carry men off into madness; a cruel young dragon prince barters his sister to win back his throne; and a determined woman undertakes the most treacherous of journeys. (catalog description)

If you like A Game of Thrones, read the rest of The Song of Fire and Ice series:


If you enjoyed the violent world and vivid atmosphere of Martin's work, here are some other titles you may enjoy:

by Jacqueline Carey
If all that is good thinks you evil... are you? Once upon a time, the Seven Shapers dwelled in accord and Shaped the world to their will. But Satoris, the youngest among them, was deemed too generous in his gifts to the race of Men, and so began the Shapers' War, which Sundered the world. Now six of the Shapers lay to one end of a vast ocean, and Satoris to the other, reviled by even the race of Men. Satoris sits in his Darkhaven, surrounded by his allies. Chief among them is Tanaros Blacksword, immortal Commander General of his army. Once a mortal man who was betrayed by King and Wife, Tanaros fled to Darkhaven a thousand years ago, and in Satoris's service has redeemed his honor--but left his humanity behind. Now there is a new prophecy that tells of Satoris's destruction and the redemption of the world. (catalog description)

The Blade Itself
by Joe Abercrombie (Book One of The First Law series)
Logen Ninefingers, infamous barbarian, has finally run out of luck. Caught in one feud too many, he's on the verge of becoming a dead barbarian--leaving nothing behind him but bad songs, dead friends, and a lot of happy enemies. Nobleman, dashing officer, and paragon of selfishness, Captain Jezal dan Luthar has nothing more dangerous in mind than fleecing his friends at cards and dreaming of glory in the fencing circle. But war is brewing, and on the battlefields of the frozen North they fight by altogether bloodier rules. Inquisitor Glokta, cripple turned torturer, would like nothing better than to see Jezal come home in a box. (catalog description)

08/31/2016 - 4:01pm

Magical fall weather is a perfect reason to spend the day in the company of the little people. Find a friend, and fill baskets with things to enjoy a special morning outdoors among the spring flowers.

Before starting out, you can make fairy wreaths and prepare a picnic fit for the wee folk. Fairy Bread is easy to make and is a favorite in the Australia, the land down under. Just spread slices of bread with soft butter (a fairy favorite), shake on colored baking sprinkles, and cut into triangles. Pack your favorite juice, and you have a simple, sweet treat to take along on your travels.

If it's a cold or rainy day, you can create your own fairies to keep you company safe inside.

03/18/2013 - 3:30am
Cover image of Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

I have been planning to write a review of Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman, since I first read it several months ago. But I kept putting it off. I think I'm afraid that I won't do justice to this amazing book. 

In Seraphina's world, humans and dragons live in an uneasy truce. Fear and distrust runs high on both sides, and interaction between the two is strictly limited. Seraphina is a half-breed who will never belong in either world. In fact, dragons find the very idea of her existence disgusting, and humans would kill her if they discovered her secret. Though she lives in fear of discovery, she refuses to hide away. A talented musician, she becomes the assistant to the court composer shortly before the arrival of the dragons' leader for a state visit celebrating the 40th anniversary of the peace treaty.

02/11/2013 - 10:39am

"I want to be a sheep-pig," he said.
"Ha ha!" bleated a big lamb standing next to Ma. "Ha ha ha-a-a-a-a!"
"Be quiet!" said Ma sharply, swinging her head to give the lamb a thumping butt in the side. "That ain't nothing to laugh at."

Pigs may herd sheep and perhaps even fly, but Dick King-Smith won't get on an airplane. He'd much rather travel by sea. The author of Babe, The Gallant Pig does have a dog named Fly after his favorite character in Babe. He says his Fly, a German Shepherd, is "beautiful, affectionate, intelligent, and as mad as a March hare."


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